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The first day gitters.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I'm one of the new guys and wanted your valuble insight.

I'm a guy who loves good quality food. I love talking about food, I love cooking food and most importantly I love eating food.

Anyhow, I've never spent anytime in a professional kitchen, but I'm planning on going to culinary school in January if things go the way I want. Because of this, I sought out an opportunity in a kitchen so that I can get a head start. I'm excited to say that I found what seems like a wonderful place with well respected chefs. The Sous Chef wants me to come in and give it a go. He says if I like what I see, he'll give me an opportunity because of my desire. This totally excites me; I'm just really, really nervous. He knows I'm green and all, but I feel like I'm going to be a hindrance, i.e. nobody is going to want me in their way on a busy dinner service... Are the seasoned line cooks receptive to the new guys? What should I expect my very first day?

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 9
Hey gitters,

I think the best thing you can do is Look listen show that your keen and show that you Have passion try to have constant awareness' on what is going on around you ask lots of questions is always good also i recommend 2 books

Larousse Gastronomique
The first edition (1938) was edited by Prosper Montagné, with prefaces by Georges Auguste Escoffier and Philéas Gilbert. Gilbert was a collaborator in the creation of this book as well as Le Guide Culinaire with Escoffier leading to some cross-over with the two books and causing Escoffier to note when he was asked to write the preface that he could “see with my own eyes, and Montagné cannot hide from me the fact that he has used Le Guide as a basis for his new book, and certainly used numerous recipes.”

Le Répertoire de La Cuisine

Le Répertoire de La Cuisine by Louis Saulnier, is a reference book available in the original French and in English translations. Several editions are in circulation, such as the Canterbury Press (Westminster, Maryland) translation of 1961, or the Barron's Educational Series edition of 1976.

We don't have line cooks here in australia but i have ran a cold larder and a desert section in a upmarket fine dining restaurant in my first year cooking i am currently in my second year of my apprenticeship but no one expects you to be superman on your first night
post #3 of 9
Hi, Nick. Nervous energy is a great motivator. So, you asked about the the other guys on the line... well, that can go many different ways. Some may be nurturing and helpful. Some may not talk to you. And some will be a combination of the two. A commercial kitchen is a hectic place with much to get done in little time and, usually, a tight space. I would listen, listen, listen. Keep a notebook in your pocket and write down everything. Careful with "I think..." or "I know..." Let everybody teach you, even if the advice is a bit misguided. As for the book suggestions, I would maybe start a little less aggressively. Le Répertoire and Gastronomique are pretty tough reads for the most seasoned veterans. Read whatever you think you can understand and then practice.
Good luck!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page


Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

post #4 of 9
I see what your saying Répertoire is a very good book for referanceing Gastronomique is more advanced but i have alot of help from my father who has been a chef since 1976,
post #5 of 9
If you go in with the right attitude, most people will want to help you and see you succeed. I you tell them from day one you are here to learn from them you will make them feel important. As Jim said above stick to basics, not Haute Cuisine leave that for when you start school. Also do not say to them "this is what I saw on television" because what you saw may not fit into where you are now.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the informative replies! By the way, I'm looking at the Cambridge School of Culinary arts which is expensive, but not out of line with lots of other schools. It's not ACF accredited, however. Shouldn't an expensive school atleast be accredited by them, or is it not that big of a deal?
post #7 of 9
So In the USA, UK, you just go to a culinary school and spend no time in the kitchen?

our system in in australia is the Apprentice spends the majority of there time in the kitchen 5 days a week one day at school for 4 years (recently dropped down to 3 years) our 'tafe' does run a 1 year course but the chefs who are coming out of it in to the industry still need a lot of work so i feel an apprenticeship is very good way to learn and it prepares you for the industry as qualified chefs because you have spend almost all your time in the kitchen and not at school,

Can someone please explain the the way your train in th UK, USA as i have a very poor understanding of it
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, atleast here in the US you can do it different ways: You can get a job in a kitchen and apprentice with a good chef without even going to culinary school, or you can go to culinary school AND apprentice. Most culinary schools require some sort of externship / apprenticeship before graduation. It usually isn't a very long requirement, however. My plan is to get the job at this restaurant and start culinary school in January. I'll be working in the field while in school, so by t he time I graduate I'll have some real hands on experience along with whatever training I receive while in school. While in culinary school, you are in the kitchen. Every place is different so how often can very. I'm not sure about the U.K. I'll let someone else chime in.
post #9 of 9
If the staff, especially anyone in a position of authority, resents you simply for being new...then they're not worth your time.

If a "chef" isn't capable of recognizing initiative and wanting to foster it, then what else may they be missing? Stay away from these types, for they'll be nothing but vexations.
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